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08.19.2015 , 04:39 PM | #67

Part 3-36. In which contraband gets the hell out

This series has pervasive spoilers for the Shadow of Revan introduction, Forged Alliances. It also regularly uses the chapter 3 titles for the Sith Warrior and Sith Inquisitor, along with the background of their companions.

A sweet Alderaanian chick
Had a freighter both subtle and quick.
She carried transactions
For dissident factions
But ran when the trouble got thick.

The freighter’s ramp was open, and a striking brunette in a long coat was waving people on board in a crazed effort at command.

Nalenne slowed, ignoring the bombardment behind her. "Wait a minute. Do I know you?"

“I’d love to discuss it when we’re not here,” she said. “Come on!”

The entirety of the landing party, minus those who had been left with the ship back on the beachhead, crowded into a cargo hold dominated by hanging nets and haphazardly piled shipping crates. What appeared to be a collection of carbonite-frozen small animals covered one sloping wall.

Niselle looked around, nostrils flaring. “Is this ship yours?”

“Nah,” said the brunette, tossing a long braid back over her shoulder. “Owner is pilot is not here.”

“I see.” Niselle turned on her heel and walked out.

Both Nalenne and the brunette gave chase. “Hey,” said the latter, “no customers on the bridge–”

Niselle whirled and raised one veiny white hand. “Consider what you just saw happen to your last clients. Consider, very carefully, just what rules you wish to assert with me.”

“Yeah, what she said,” said Nalenne, scowling fearsomely.

The purple Force glow that had formed over the brunette’s head sparked once, furiously, and the woman ducked. “Right,” she said, “these guys get the run of the ship. Can I get you a drink while you’re at it?”

“I’m allergic to sarcasm,” drawled Niselle. “Violently so. You wouldn’t want to see it.”

The brunette visibly bit down on something, then let out a slow breath. “Right. My lord.”

Niselle smiled. “Now, then. To the bridge.”

The bridge was a crowded affair festooned with buttons, levers, helpfully labeled cables, unhelpfully labeled cables, and large friendly labels on a random but insufficient percentage of the controls.

“Not now, Rish, lemme just–” The woman in the pilot’s seat cut left, hard, and spun around incoming fire. “Check the astrogation numbers. Quickly please.”

“Yes, cap’n.” Lithe and lightning-quick the brunette slid into a seat a few paces away the captain and leaned over a computer display. “How’s–?”

“Anything,” the pilot said, wrenching another spin. “How’s five seconds?”

“Aye-aye.” The brunette reached up and started hitting switches. Seconds later the pilot grasped a large handle labeled simply “MINE” and pulled. The battle jerked away from them and then they were racing into the whiteness outside stars.

The pilot stood. She was a dark-skinned, black-haired Human in a battered, stained waist-length jacket. She had very large, very dark eyes. Very large.

“So,” she said. “I see we made some friends.”

“Sorry, captain,” said the brunette. “Nic, unless I’m seriously misinformed these are the Emperor’s Wrath and the Dark Council’s favorite daughter. Ladies, Captain Nic.”

Nic went through an elaborate bow. “It’s an honor. Really. I haven’t been this honored in days at least. I love getting honored by Sith. It’s so…distinguished, you know?”

Niselle seemed to be studying the surroundings, perhaps wondering whether there was a clean surface in the place. Nalenne stepped in. “You were waiting to evacuate Arkous and Darok?”

Nic put up her hands. “They paid me. In advance. Very well. Nice guys.”

“You’re working for the Revanites. You know that, right?”

"The who? I got no political leanings a few credits can't fix, if you take my meaning."

"Where's the Mon Calamari? I thought he was your ace pilot."

Nic’s eyes darted from side to side. "Yeah, he, uh, broke his flippers. I mean, his fingers. All of ‘em. Real bad. I had to step in."

"He's not your pilot at all, is he." Nalenne glared. "That time I tried to hire you. You just didn't want to go to Voss!"

"Who would, really?"

"I got married there, you know."

Nic was all innocent curiosity. "And how'd that work out for you?"

Nalenne scowled. "A lot better than this conversation is going to work out for you."

Nic sucked in air through her teeth and spun back down to her seat. "Right. Flying now."
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